Just two hours east of the Twin Cities, under a water tower in the small town of Osseo, Wisconsin; is one of our all time favorite road trip restaurants, The Norske Nook. Living in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Scandinavian culture is familiar to us. Not only is it literally in our blood (many Scandinavians settled here), Bret grew up in the Lindstrom/Chisago City area, both of which have Scandinavian sister cities. At his high school the two languages offered were Spanish and Swedish. His sister makes homemade lefse, Norway’s potato-based answer to the tortilla, for all major holidays; and Swedish coffee is our gold standard.
We’ve been to the Nook several times with the kids, as it is the perfect place for a first stop when on the road. We usually plan our driving times around eating there. This time was no exception. A specialty of the house, their lefse wraps are something I think about even when hundreds of miles away. On this night, the favorite was Norwegian meatballs, mashed potatoes and homemade gravy surrounded by the warm, soft goodness of lefse. After dinner we shared a piece of one of their dozens of homemade pies and cups of strong, dark coffee. Dinner wasn’t even finished before the kids were planning how we could make sure to eat there on our return trip home.